Artist's impression of Geary's site

Source: Geary’s Bakeries

An artist’s impression of the new site

Geary’s Bakeries is investing £8m in a new manufacturing facility in Leicester to help it keep up with demand for its Jason’s Sourdough branded range of loaves and rolls.

The new site, which is 95,000 sq ft, will be built across the road from Geary’s existing bakery in Glenfield, Leicester. It will double the manufacturer’s current footprint and capacity and is expected to be operational around Q2 of 2025.

“The popularity of our Jason’s Sourdough products has grown exponentially over the past year. This investment in our facilities and capacity will allow us to future-proof the growth of the business and continue to develop and deliver quality sourdough to households around the UK,” said Jason Geary, fourth generation master baker of Geary’s Bakeries.

Jason’s Sourdough first hit the market in early 2020 under the name Jason’s, followed by the tagline ‘Baked with Love’, with a trio of ciabattin loaves (a mash-up of ciabatta and a sourdough process). Prior to this, Geary’s was a private label bakery with many of its products made for Aldi.

Since then, the brand has undergone a rebrand and gained listings in nearly 3,000 supermarkets across the UK with major retailers including Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Waitrose, Morrisons, Ocado, and Booths.

The range now comprises four ciabattin loaves – White, Grains & Seeds, Wholemeal, and Malted Wildfarmed – three sourdough loaves, and white and tiger rolls.

Jason's Sourdough x Wildfarmed Malted Ciabattin in packaging

Source: Geary’s Bakeries

Jason’s Sourdough racked up £23.7m in sales over the past year, representing value growth of 132%, according to Kantar data for the 52 weeks ending 21 January 2024. Geary’s said the brand is more than twice the size of any other in the supermarket premium pre-packed bread segment, which is worth £85.7m and grew by 21.3% over the same period.

Penetration is also rising, according to Geary’s, and the brand is now bought by over two million households. There is still plenty of room for growth, it added, noting that premium pre-packed bread sales increased by 21.3% in contrast to a 2.1% decrease for total pre-packed loaves.

“Jason’s Sourdough is proving that artisanal quality bread can be scaled and made more accessible to more people,” Geary added. “Everything we do is focused on delivering real sourdough, made with natural ingredients, no yeast, no seed oil and no additives to homes across the country. It’s an exciting period of growth as we continue this expansion.”

Consumers and manufacturers are looking closely at ingredients and processes at the minute, as the debate around ultra-processed food comes to the fore.